Topics: Waterways

Desperate Mariners Seek Answers

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM  —  With fishing boats and Coast Guard surfboats now frequently bottled up in Chatham Harbor because of severe shoaling – and with peak commercial fishing season less than three months away – mariners are demanding answers. Town officials have very few. “June is coming very close for us,” commercial fisherman and Aunt Lydia’s Cove Committee Chairman Doug Feeney told selectmen Monday. “We’re in need rig...

CHATHAM – Selectmen last week declined to support proposed federal legislation to declare Nantucket Sound a National Historic Landmark. Chatham is the only Cape town bordering Nantucket Sound that has declined to endorse the legislation, which is being promoted by the Alliance To Protect Nantucket Sound. Some 50 towns, municipal agencies and nonprofit organizations signed on to a letter to Senators Edward Mark...

CHATHAM — For vessels over a certain draft, getting in and out of Chatham Harbor is now impossible except during the most favorable tides. While smaller boats can still pass freely, commercial fishing vessels and even Coast Guard rescue boats are increasingly unable to leave the harbor. Experts say the south inlet opposite Outermost Harbor is predominantly feeding Nantucket Sound through the so-called Foo...

ORLEANS — The “air” B&B over Cedar Pond enjoyed by roosting cormorants for decades is no more. “As of yesterday, I witnessed that all wires, including the communication wire, are now down from spanning Cedar Pond,” Conservation Agent John Jannell told the conservation commission Tuesday. Some members applauded, with Judith Bruce asking that town counsel “convey our thanks” to Eversource. It was a high...

ORLEANS — It's been a long haul to get dredging Nauset Estuary on the public's radar, but now that the signal is strong some eager proponents are urging patience. “I ask that people in this room open their hearts and their minds to the obvious challenges that are going to be ahead of us, to not lose patience with the amount of time it will take for the permit process,” fisherman and dredging advisory committ...

CHATHAM – A short “listening session” last week kicked off the town's effort to square its waterways bylaws and regulations with state and federal rules. In a meeting that lasted less than half an hour, a handful of speakers raised several questions and made comments about the town's regulations, mostly focused on the contentious issue of moorings. Waterways officials and the town's waterways advisory commi...

Fish Pier Deck Upgrade Gets Final Approval

By: Tim Wood

$1.6 Million Project To Be Completed By Summer CHATHAM – Town officials were scheduled to meet earlier this week with engineers and the contractor hired to build a new observation deck at the fish pier, following final approval of the project by the zoning board of appeals last week. The board unanimously approved the $1.6 million project, which will result in a more larger, more stable deck that meets acce...

Minister’s Point resident Gerald Milden has filed suit in Barnstable Superior Court against the town of Chatham and its conservation commission, claiming it wrongly permitted a potential future dredging project near the North Inlet, where it had issued an emergency permit last year. The suit comes despite the fact that the project was never carried out, and town officials have not yet decided whether to dredge...

Harwich Kelp Farmer Provides Insight Into New Industry

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH — Mark Kelleher has been drawn to the waters in and around the Herring River for many years. He's worked in fishing and shellfishing, and now has a new venture, a kelp farm a mile offshore, which is taking advantage of the nutrients flowing from the river into Nantucket Sound. The kelp farm is a first for Harwich. Kelleher admits it is an experiment for him. The part-time teacher, shellfisherman a...

CHATHAM – Dredging of the entrance channel to Outermost Harbor Marine wound up this week, and whether the navigation channel remains clear will depend in large part on this winter's weather. The Little Beach marine purchased its own small dredge to clear the sand, which drifts southward from Lighthouse Beach and North Beach Island. The marina has a maintenance permit to keep the channel open, said owner Farrel...

Regulators Question Plans To Dredge Nauset Estuary

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS – Town officials, a commercial fisherman and the owner of the Goose Hummock Shop traveled to Lakeville Jan. 11 to draw attention to the need for prompt action to dredge Nauset Estuary. A panel of state and federal regulators, some present by phone, listened attentively and asked thoughtful questions but offered little encouragement for relief anytime soon. “This is an area where dredging hasn't been ...

Fish Pier Observation Deck To Cost $1.6M

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Bids have been opened from contractors hoping to build the new observation deck at the fish pier, and for town officials, it was like an early holiday gift. The low bid for the job, which includes the replacement of aging fuel tanks, is $1.48 million, about $400,000 less than expected. With a conservative contingency fund, the total project cost is expected to be $1,628,540. The winning bidder is W...

Town Waiting On State Response To Alum Treatment

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The hope was the town would be treating Hinckley's Pond with alum before the end of the year, but the conservation commission has not acted on the request, absent a response to the proposal from the state's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species (NHES) program. Natural Resources Director Heinz Proft was before the commission in early October seeking the commission's approval for the proposed alum tr...

ORLEANS — They won't have a common plan when they meet with regulators to discuss dredging Nauset Estuary, but the selectmen of Eastham and Orleans will have a common purpose. The boards came together at Eastham's library Nov. 26 to air concerns about the key resource they share, one that Orleans fisherman Bill Amaru called “the prime jewel of the Outer Cape.” But the estuary has lost its sparkle, shoaling u...

Despite Setbacks, Round Cove Dredging Still Planned

By: Alan Pollock

EAST HARWICH — Tormented by persistent bad weather and equipment problems, the long-delayed Pleasant Bay dredging projects might seem to be cursed. But officials say they’re confident the streak of bad luck is coming to an end and the dredging of Round Cove will take place this fall as planned. The dredging adjacent to Fox Hill in North Chatham, near the entrance to Ryder’s Cove, along with the Round Cove dr...

“ Tiny bubbles Make me warm all over With a feeling that I'm gonna Love you till the end of time.”                - Leon Pober ORLEANS — The Orleans Pond Coalition may not be prepared to aerate Sarah's Pond “till the end of time,” but it's all in on backing a two-year demonstration project using “tiny bubbles” to restore the pond's health. On Nov. 6, the conservation commission decided unanimou...